by Lauren Laskowski

Reduce – Reuse – Recycle!  Hug a Tree!  Go Green!  These phrases have been commonplace to my ears as I’ve been growing up in the millennial era of environmental consciousness.  And the reality is, caring for the environment is an issue that still gets much publicity.

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Going green has been an emerging trend for years. Data supports this, as do several  news articles that state going green, which was once a novel topic, has now become mainstream.  The articles say the trend is gaining momentum to become the norm in most businesses, shops, and homes. An article from Heritage Newspapers states the movement to “Go Green” is the fastest-growing trend of industries and is now dominating businesses.  And, if you type in a google search with the words “shirts with go green,” you will get 142,000,000 results!

However, are Millennials keeping up with this environmentally conscious world we live in?  Data is showing just the opposite.  In a recent article entitled, Millennials don’t care about the Environment or even other People, it is stated that high-school-aged Millennials are now are scoring the lowest out of any previous generation in history on personal protection of the environment.

Millennials don’t care

Another article entitled The Greenest Generation states that even though the Millennial generation is the most educated generation with regard to the environment, they do not often put this knowledge into practice, whether by volunteering or making green buying choices.

A 20-year-old Millennial living near Chicago states, “I understand the goals of the green movement are important, but green concerns just don’t really play into my everyday habits.”

The Greenest Generation article goes on to say that Millennials understand the why of the green movement, but they struggle with the how. In a survey done by Generate Insight, data was shown that showed that 37% of Millennials would like to become more green, but they’re just not sure how to do it.

High-school Millennial Jordyn states, “My friends and I are not overly-environmentally conscious, nor do I think we are fully aware of the impacts that it could have on our generation.  For me, I think that the next generation will be capable of dealing with the problem.”

So, how will we fix this problem of apathy and lack of knowledge among the Millennial population?

Sustainable solutions

One solution could be to increase awareness of the consequences of environmental indifference and help students become more involved. Another way to increase global concern would be to get Millennials out in the environment so they can learn to appreciate the beauty of the environment and the responsibility they have toward it.  One blogger writes about a new system that comes from the company of Ecoarttech, a company that uses emerging technologies combined with nature to create a unique way to interact with their environment.  One of their programs, Intermediate Hikes + is a mobile app that students can take with them while hiking that brings bio-cultural diversity into the hiker’s environment.

Another solution would be to expose Millennials of brands that are environmentally conscious.  The Greenest Generation article stated that 50% of Millennials could not name even one environmentally conscious brand.  By increasing awareness about “greener” brands, Millennials will be able to actively become involved in participating to help make the world a greener place.

Some brands that are very environmentally conscious are: Method, an environmentally conscious cleaning product brand, SC Johnson, and Burt’s Bees.  Becoming educated about brands that help the environment will allow you to take that next step and become a better, environmental steward of the world that we need to take care of.

So, take the next step and go green.  The earth will thank you for it!